October 16, 2006
Richard Dawkins, considered one of the world’s most influential scientists, is the first holder of the Charles Simonyi professorship of the public understanding of science at Oxford University and the recipient of a number of awards for his writings and for his science, including the International Cosmos Prize, the Kistler Prize, and the Shakespeare Prize. He is also a fellow of the Royal Society. In a recent poll in the United Kingdom, he was named Britain’s leading public intellectual. He is the author of a number of critically acclaimed books, such as The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, Unweaving the Rainbow, The Devil’s Chaplain, and The Ancestor’s Tale. The New York Times Book Review has hailed him as a writer who “understands the issues so clearly that he forces his reader to understand them too.”
In this discussion with D.J. Grothe, Dawkins talks about his new best-selling book, The God Delusion, addressing challenges from his critics to his assertion that it is very unlikely that there is a God, and that religion is a form of child abuse, among other topics. He also addresses the question of whether science and religion are really at war.